STKS: Rhythm and Brown (M4U Records)

 |   |  1 min read

STKS: Ignite
STKS: Rhythm and Brown (M4U Records)

In November 2010, when most media people were looking the other way unfortunately, a new Auckland-based record label M4U launched itself with a showcase of its talent in a hip bar on Ponsonby Rd.

The two most impressive acts bookended the night: the terrifyingly talented young singer Ria who stopped the chatter from her first soulful notes, and at the end the rather more mature STKS whose electro-beat/soul-funk dance music was as sassy and celebratory as he looked.

Not many people can pull off the bright black and yellow chequerboard look -- and he danced with that same stop-on-the-beat style of James Brown. Then flicked out another couple of crowd-pleasing moves which froze on the spot, then kick-started the beats again.

You knew straight away this guy was a born entertainer, and that rarity: a natural.

I was enormously impressed by both of these acts (I sent the spoken word/poet Jai who did a couple Gil Scott Heron-styled of spots an e-mail a few days later saying keep in touch, disappointingly he hasn't).

Although this debut album doesn't have quite the same thump'n'resonance as that live showing, it still manages to cleverly dance between Michael Jackson, Prince, soul-funk, Chic, hip-hop, electro-pop and interesting lyrics which can take down a Romeo who is acting like a fool ("your moves are so yesterday") or thank parents for their belief in him/you. Ria guests on Full Time Love.

And at the end he has a JA-styled toaster (Hamocane) introduce him and his background: "Born in the capital, raised in Otown [Otara] I'm your full brown island groovy spark a jiver . . . you may think I'm a super duper freeko, I do what I do")

And what STKS does is make your life a whole lot more fun and interesting. And he looks very good doing it.

This album seemed to appear back in January but then quickly fell off the radar. It now gets a proper (re)release. Check him out. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Magic Numbers: The Runaway (Shock)

The Magic Numbers: The Runaway (Shock)

By abandoning the pure pop-economy of their terrific, 05 self-titled debut for the more embellished and ambitious sound Those the Brokes in 06, this English outfit of two sets of siblings lost... > Read more

Ane Brun: After the Great Storm/How Beauty Holds the Hand of Sorrow (Balloon Ranger/digital outlets)

Ane Brun: After the Great Storm/How Beauty Holds the Hand of Sorrow (Balloon Ranger/digital outlets)

Born in Denmark but living in Stockholm, singer-songwriter Ane Brun was one the discoveries at the 2014 Taranaki Womad and a fascinating, candid interview subject. A writer who draws... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PRIME ROCKS: OASIS - SUPERSONIC, a doco by MAT WHITECROSS

PRIME ROCKS: OASIS - SUPERSONIC, a doco by MAT WHITECROSS

This two-hour doco screening in the Prime Rocks series on December 5 was made by the team behind the moving Amy Winehouse film . . . with Noel and Liam Gallagher as executive producers, given... > Read more

WOMAD TARANAKI 2018 CONSIDERED: On y va, jump jump

WOMAD TARANAKI 2018 CONSIDERED: On y va, jump jump

There's an interesting performance area at the Womad festival in Taranaki which most people just make a passing glance at. It's a steep bank on the side of the Bowl of Brooklands beneath the... > Read more